The Texas Hill Country weather is so super nice in the fall and spring. There are months and months around here when pleasant temperatures allow us to spend time in the beautiful outdoors.The correlation with good mental health and getting out in nature has become common knowledge.
There is a large volume of literature that provides psychological and physical validation for walking and its tremendous healthy benefits. More and more discoveries are also published about the incredible power of exposure to nature. Endless studies claim that walking can improve mood and boost self-esteem and reduce stress. And all of those benefits make an individual much healthier.
You knew this already. Right? So when someone suggests you “take a walk,” it isn’t just a casual suggestion. Now this endeavor is so well-recognized, a relatively new therapy is on the rise. Yep. Walk and talk therapy. This therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach based on the idea that there is a strong relationship between bodily movement and cognition within outdoor settings. The foundation of walk and talk therapy supports the idea that it is in the dynamics of walking and talking that the client and therapist interact to contribute in the change process.
Research indicates that this vein of therapy can be instrumental in getting through an impasse in therapy. Walk and talk therapy can be an invaluable means of furthering and enhancing the psychological processing that takes place in therapy. Most of the practitioners who have used it do so not as the sole or absolute format, but rather with a variety of creative treatments and theoretical approaches particular to the client.
Perhaps walking and talking is a way to get us all moving on a path, both literally and figuratively. Walking on the soles of one’s feet can be a metaphor for reflection and self-realization. It isn’t so easy to compartmentalize the physical from the psychological.
So even if your therapist doesn’t offer walk and talk therapy, it could be coming in the not too distant future. Yet there is one very important thing you can do in the here and now: get out there. Walk. Walk your dog. Hike.
Here’s a good one: walk and talk with a good friend whom you consider a confidant. Nature stimulates us in extraordinary ways. And there are so many breath-taking places to walk or hike around here. Here are a few of my favorites:
-Panther Canyon Nature Trail
-San Antonio Mission Trail
-Rio Medina Trail